Cuban government moves to head off possible protest

Written by Sateh Nalin, CNN Protests in Cuba over a proposed protest to protest changes in the military sector of the country’s government have been put on hold after the authorities placed themselves “at…

Cuban government moves to head off possible protest

Written by Sateh Nalin, CNN

Protests in Cuba over a proposed protest to protest changes in the military sector of the country’s government have been put on hold after the authorities placed themselves “at the center of the protest,” according to one of the organizers.

Members of Cuba’s political opposition often travel abroad to take part in protests or to stage “palayos,” where activists — many of whom are traveling without visas — say they plan to have meetings with their representatives in the United States.

At the heart of the protests is the amendment to the Cuban constitution that adds an amendment to the military by creating a new Office of Forces for the Recovery of Cuban Sovereignty.

The office would enable the cabinet to call upon the military in the event of external threats.

The amendments to the constitution were passed by just 54 out of 158-member chamber of deputies, in July.

The Minister for State for National Defense, Mercedes Rivas Diaz, placed the administrative framework in place on Saturday to ensure that participants in the upcoming protest march would all travel through specially designated routes through Cuban territory, and would carry out meetings within the barracks.

On Sunday morning, one of the organizers of the demonstration, Julio Hernandez Rivas, said he had been unable to obtain a permit to travel out of Cuba.

“I have a valid visa,” he said. “I should not have problems coming out of Cuba. I am one of the founding members of the Cuban Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CRNRC). I have authorization from both home and office. But I cannot get an authorization from the interior minister to travel out of Cuban territory.”

Hernandez Rivas believes the government is using religion as a tool for restricting protests, as it was in the case of the Orlando Zapata Tamayo case in 2016.

His father, also a prominent opponent of President Raul Castro, was killed in a shoot-out with police at a church in Santiago de Cuba in January 2012. Zapata Tamayo’s head was cut off and his body mutilated.

The method for carrying out the killing was artfully modelled after the crucifixion by the makers of the heavy metal band Limp Bizkit.

At the time, some former military leaders were arrested.

“The government is killing … dialogue and dialogue between citizens, citizens who are uniting to do this,” Hernandez Rivas said.

Leave a Comment